For many years Beethoven and Wagner shook our nerves and hearts. Now we are satiated and we find far more enjoyment in the combination of the noises of trams, backfiring motors, carriages and bawling crowds than in rehearsing, for example, the “Eroica” or the “Pastoral.”
We cannot see that enormous apparatus of force that the modern orchestra represents without feeling the most profound and total disillusion at the paltry acoustic results. Do you know of any sight more ridiculous than that of twenty men furiously bent on the redoubling the mewing of a violin? All this will naturally make the music-lovers scream, and will perhaps enliven the sleepy atmosphere of concert halls. Let us now, as Futurists, enter one of these hospitals for anaemic sounds. There: the first bar brings the boredom of familiarity to your ear and anticipates the boredom of the bar to follow. Let us relish, from bar to bar, two or three varieties of genuine boredom, waiting all the while for the extraordinary sensation that never comes.
Meanwhile a repugnant mixture is concocted from monotonous sensations and the idiotic religious emotion of listeners buddhistically drunk with repeating for the nth time their more or less snobbish or second-hand ecstasy.
Away! Let us break out since we cannot much longer restrain our desire to create finally a new musical reality, with a generous distribution of resonant slaps in the face, discarding violins, pianos, double-basses and plainitive organs. Let us break out!
It's no good objecting that noises are exclusively loud and disagreeable to the ear.
It seems pointless to enumerate all the graceful and delicate noises that afford pleasant sensations.
To convince ourselves of the amazing variety of noises, it is enough to think of the rumble of thunder, the whistle of the wind, the roar of a waterfall, the gurgling of a brook, the rustling of leaves, the clatter of a trotting horse as it draws into the distance, the lurching jolts of a cart on pavings, and of the generous, solemn, white breathing of a nocturnal city; of all the noises made by wild and domestic animals, and of all those that can be made by the mouth of man without resorting to speaking or singing.
Let us cross a great modern capital with our ears more alert than our eyes, and we will get enjoyment from distinguishing the eddying of water, air and gas in metal pipes, the grumbling of noises that breathe and pulse with indisputable animality, the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags. We enjoy creating mental orchestrations of the crashing down of metal shop blinds, slamming doors, the hubbub and shuffling of crowds, the variety of din, from stations, railways, iron foundries, spinning wheels, printing works, electric power stations and underground railways...
A cheap tape recorder captured a show in Belgium and preserved the sound of Suicide provoking a full-scale riot just by attempting to play their material during a support slot for Elvis Costello. With each song the crowd audibly become more agitated finally exploding during "Frankie Teardrop" stealing Vega's mike and leaving him to scream "Shut the fuck up! This is about Frankie!" before exiting the stage to boos, catcalls and cheers. This incredible recording eventually saw the light of day as an 'official bootleg' flexi disc entitled "23 Minutes Over Brussels"(1978) and ranks alongside Iggy and the Stooges "Metallic KO" (1976) as a superb document of an act desperately attempting to triumph in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Their lack of drummer and guitarist was seen by many audiences as an open attempt to insult them, that somehow this duo was not and could never be a 'real' band. As a result, Suicide's appearance was nearly always greeted by a constant rain of phlegm and bottles when ever they took to the stage. Alan Vega had his nose broken during one UK gig an event that would have forced a more timid artist to flee but Vega and Rev had cut their teeth in the performance arts and used any confrontation to stir up their audiences as much as they possibly could, believing that this all added to the unique nature of their show.
"Pan sonic's performance with David Crawford and Hayley Newman at Rude Mechanic event took place at South London art space Beaconsfield during November 1996. The musicians isolated themselves in the concrete bunker of Beaconsfield, condemning themselves to fill every hour of every day between 10am and 6pm with the ever-present seisms of Pan sonic, that would be augmented with extra sound input from a series of invited guests, like Jimi Tenor, Bruce Gilbert or Scanner."
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